12 Free & Cheap Apps to Help You Grow Your Career

Consistent career growth requires conscious effort — and can be costly. Fortunately, there are apps that can help you capitalize on your career without breaking the bank, getting you ever closer to your workplace goals. Whether you’re looking to save time, network, learn new skills or organize more efficiently, here are 12 handy apps to help you grow your career.

1. Switch (free)

If you’re in the job market or just curious about what’s available, the Switch app is an up-to-date job-seeking solution that helps you speedily find out about possibilities. Once you see an opportunity that catches your eye, swipe right to send your resume to an employer. You can schedule interviews and talk to hiring personnel directly in the app, too.

2. MindTools (free)

Whether you want to brush up on skills related to project management, leadership, decision-making or all three, the MindTools app gives you topical content at your fingertips. It also breaks down all those topics into bite-sized chunks, so you can easily go over the material while riding the subway to work or making the most of your downtime.

3. Accompany (free)

Marketed as “the largest database of senior decision-makers in the world,” Accompany is an iOS app that helps you keep tabs on the power players who are making waves. Also, a curated news feed of articles and updates from your contacts make it simple to stay abreast of career changes, promotions and other milestones.

4. Vmock (free to check one resume or $19.99 to upload 10 resumes)

Ever wish you had a resume coach? Think of Vmock as the virtual alternative. It’s a web-based app that uses sophisticated algorithms to analyze your resume and give instant feedback. The technology gauges overall impact, your use of bullet points and more. After getting a personalized score, you’ll have the necessary knowledge to make obvious improvements.

5. Time Graphics (free)

As you might guess from the name, Time Graphics is a free timeline maker. As a career-oriented person, you may find it helpful to make a printable timeline that helps you set your sights on the future while looking at how far you’ve progressed. Time Graphics helps you do that, and it works in your browser.

6. EdX (free with paid options available)

EdX is an online learning portal that lets you learn new skills by allowing you to audit thousands of top-quality courses for free. The only applicable charges occur if you want a verifiable certificate for a course — costs vary — or are taking one of the offerings under the professional education category, which includes about 60 options. Although EdX is a website, it also has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

7. Streaks (free)

Combining a to-do list with a habit-based concept, Streaks encourages you to turn up to 12 tasks into repetitive behaviors. Every time you complete one for another day, your “streak” grows longer, but if you break the cycle, it returns to the starting point. This app is excellent for helping you get serious about performing habits that help your career and getting accustomed to positive behaviors in a non-overwhelming way.

8. Enloop (free with paid options available)

Maybe your career growth aspirations involve starting a business, but the thought of writing a plan for one makes you nervous. Enloop helps you create one with automated tools that generate blocks of text after you enter basic information. Edit the material as needed to customize. Also, get a real-time effectiveness score that updates as you make changes. The free option lets you make one text-only business plan.

9. Shapr (free)

We’re accustomed to swiping to find people to date, but what about for expanding professional networks? That’s the concept behind Shapr. You create several tags related to your job or relevant interests, and the app sends you up to 15 people per day who match those characteristics. Use the app to connect with professionals you want to meet, then look forward to forming new relationships.

10. Task Till Dawn (free)

Does it often feel like you spend so much time doing tedious tasks there’s no time left over for career development? This automation app takes care of things at timed intervals — such as cleaning up your desktop or sorting files — so you can concentrate on more important things that are relevant to your line of work and future goals.

11. CamCard (free or $4.99/month for premium version)

The seemingly simple act of exchanging business cards could open doors that move you closer to the career of your dreams. But what happens if you lose them? The CamCard app prevents that dreaded problem. It detects multiple languages and takes the information from physical cards to make digital versions stored on your device and in the cloud. You can also exchange e-cards with people you meet at conferences or similar events.

12. Penzu (free with a premium option starting at $4.99/month)

Penzu is a diary app, and its developers suggest the idea of starting a work diary that helps you keep track of daily activities, thoughts that arise, new ideas and other important bits of information that could ultimately enhance your career. This tool stores your content in the cloud and lets you pick up where you left off on any device.

Do you use and love other free or low-cost apps to support career growth? Share your favorites in the comments. Also, to make sure you don’t miss any new posts from Punched Clocks, subscribe here.

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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